Read article on CNN - Rover finds evidence of ancient water on Mars
When I read this article on CNN.com, I said to myself isn’t GOD GREAT!. Its just like HIM to allow the scientist to discover just how true his WORD is. I wasn’t surprised at all to learn they discoverd water on Mars. I expected it. Why ? Read the Creation Story in the Book of Genesis and note the following:
Genesis 1: 1-7
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said , Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 And God said , Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
In other words, God placed water below and above the “sky”. It’s in the WORD!.
Life is a cavernously deep expeditious journey. It is a complex menagerie of diverse emotions, feelings, thoughts, interactions, relationships and occurrences! How long or short will each of us be here no one really knows! As we grow we encounter a multiplicity of experiences that cause us to look deeper into what life is really all about. Each day is a new opportunity to discover something new no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential! As we grow it becomes evident that there is so much more to life than meets the eye! We embark upon a remarkable quest of discovery; but where does or will it all lead? We discover that we are also spiritual beings…
How do we get to know GOD?
The spiritual journey leads us to the realization of our Creator! God the Father the Great “I AM.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is what we as adherent believers believe! ( I realize that not everyone believes the same.) As we begin to relate to the Lord properly He will free us more and more from the things that misrepresent Him. As we grow spiritually our spiritual eyes are opened and we become more conscious of why we do what we do! Our conscience becomes much more sensitive to the things that are contrary to His Will and His Way! Our desire should be to live to please Him as we grow spiritually. Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuing life process! The Canonical Gospels which we know as the WORD contains a wealth of the history and origins of mankind! This is why it is so important to spend time in HIS WORD! Here we are able to ascertain the invaluable, priceless and precious TRUTH!
Through a plethora of life lessons we grow! We all have areas in which we are lacking! It is within our deficiencies we can discover a need for something greater than ourselves for survival. How do we cope with life, living and the anxieties that come along with it! As we become aware the discovery of a supernatural existence greater than ourselves and the ongoing need for spiritual growth and balance becomes apparent! It is a continual learning process.
God did not create us to be or become robots. Each of us is uniquely different with varying temperaments! He has given us the free will to choose… The world also offers many choices as well. It’s important to know the difference and then choose wisely. There are both good and bad consequences for our choices. Sin is what separates us from God! God is the Creator and Maker of mankind an ultimately knows what is best for us. It is our choice to draw closer to Him or look to the world and society for direction. The ways of God and the ways of the world often conflict here lays the inner conflict…
God sent us His only begotten Son; JESUS CHRIST to redeem us from the curse of sin! Sin separates us from GOD! Jesus came as an innocent babe wrapped in sinless flesh. He overcame sin in the flesh. He went through all the stages of life, yet He never sinned! He was crucified, died and was buried and then He arose with ALL POWER! He came to point us back into the right direction that once again unites us to our Creator. The Narrow Path is the Way that leads to Him! Jesus was the Door back to the Father! Jesus is the only perfect example! Living for the Lord is meant to be a way of living daily! No one knows when but the LORD is going to return for HIS CHURCH!
GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR RELIGION TO BE A CRUTCH!
Why is there so much confusion about religion! What is religion?
Religion consists of cultural views, beliefs and various systems worldwide. Religion in itself is not bad but for many it means different things. It takes on many forms depending on the particular culture! Christianity, Islam Buddhism and Hinduism are considered the four major religions. There are thousands of religions throughout the world. Within those religions are varied and diverse practices and an assortment of ritual. What, whom, why and how we choose to worship is where the problem lies. What we believe varies… We must become aware of the mixture of misconceptions in order to know what true godly religion really is according to the Word of God.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about religion: “
“The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Some religions have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.”
Technically by the worlds standard you can elect to worship just about anything. For some religion is just a commitment to an organized institutionalized system of beliefs and doctrines. The beliefs vary and often adapts and changes as the world changes…
CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION
Christianity goes beyond just being a religion. It is also the main focus within the context of this narrative! Religion is an essential important fundamental aspect of Christianity. Let’s take a look at The WORD of GOD’S definition for religion! “If any one considers him religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that GOD our FATHER accepts as PURE and FAUTLESS is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to KEEP oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1. These verses are quite self explanatory.
Christianity is a way of living, it is meant to be a daily lifestyle! Being a Christian simply means to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings! Jesus is the promised Messiah! We who are called believers, through FAITH believe the Bible to be the intrinsic infallible Word of God! Christianity is monotheistic! We believe in one GOD! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ONE! We are supposed to actually apply the principles of God’s Word to our daily lives! It is the barometer by which we determine right and wrong! Yes! It was divinely inspired by dedicated followers of God! As mentioned earlier the aspects of pure religion are explained in the Book of James! For many religion is about conforming to the beliefs of the masses without really personally taking the time to know what is actually in the Bible. Sometimes often embracing the traditions, doctrines and beliefs of a denomination over the Word of God!
GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE! It can sometimes be so simple we miss the intended message. The closer you or I draw to GOD the more we can increasingly understand the simplicity and powerfulness of HIS Word! His Holy Spirit further opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates His Word so we can better comprehend the intended message. His Holy Spirit is the eternal inner Teacher and spiritual interpreter that reside within us as believers! To lead us to ALL TRUTH! Listen closely to what Jesus said! “I have much more to say to you, more than you can hear now bear. But when He the Spirit of TRUTH, comes He will guide you to ALL TRUTH. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it made known to you. ALL that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the SPIRIT will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16.
During Jesus’ last days on earth He talked quite candidly with His disciples. He warned them that they would be misunderstood, mistreated and persecuted. He also told them they would not be accepted by the world. But most importantly He assured them that they would not be alone! He has given us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be with us always! This is why it is so important to know HIS WORD! We can call on the LORD anytime and anywhere! Think about this for a moment; when JESUS left the earth and ascended to Heaven there was not an actual physical Christian Church as far as a building! The disciples and His followers met in homes, they knew then as we should know now that they themselves were the CHURCH! GOD’S CHURCH is universal!
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Faith is so important that it is mentioned over three hundred times in the BIBLE. Faith means to have a firm persuasion. Having Faith means much more than just to say you believe. It goes much further! Faith is developed through Prayer, Devotion, Bible Study, and the actual application of God’s Word to your life. Faith is also part of the Lord’s spiritual armor. It is “By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:3. Faith is NOW not after the fact has materialized! “For we walk by Faith not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
When you truly trust God your Faith will see you through any and all circumstances or situations. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab, are just a few examples of the many that trusted and had Faith in God. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets beheld many miracles, faced jeers, were stoned, saw walls fall, were persecuted, misunderstood, and mistreated yet accomplished their life purpose by trusting the Lord. Notice how they all sincerely aspired to live in the presence of the Lord. They had a personal and deep intimate relationship with Him. Hebrews commends them all for their Faith; “yet none of them received what had been promised.” It is by Faith we are strengthened inwardly! Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through Faith.
Faith is NOW!
Hebrew defines Faith as something you cannot see. Faith without works is dead. When your Faith is truly in GOD you trust that in His time He will fulfill whatever it is that He has said or promised. Take a moment to take an open and honest personal inventory of everything that is happening in your life. Guess what God already knows as well! Despite your circumstances; good, bad, or indifferent you can rest assured that your Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you will now proceed. In order to successfully run the race of life we must keep our focus on the Lord. Laying aside any weight or sin helps us to run with endurance. When life hurdles appear God will impart to you His patience and direction. You can not change anything that has happened “it is what it is” As you fix your eyes on “Jesus, the Author and perfector of our Faith” He will help you arise to the challenges as well as the celebrations of life. Your daily trust and reliance on God is where your true security and significance should reside. This will give you sure footing and strong solid rock foundational spiritual roots to help you withstand the storms of life. Your Joy in the Lord is where you will find strength when you keep your eyes on Him. The joy of the Lord is not contingent on your circumstance. Faith is NOW!
The key to being a Christian is the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know the importance of His sacrificial death on the cross that atoned for our sins? It was so we could live life to please Him! Did you know our lives, our homes, our marriages, families and our worship should reflect we are His children? How do we do this? Titus tells us that “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in Faith, love and in endurance. To teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good…” The natural man or woman does not accept, value, nor understand the things of God. This is why the Word says to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to understand the things of God it is crucial that you lay aside your way and your will and let His Word be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light to your path.” Having the proper perspective will teach you how very important it is to live life and study His Word for His approval and not the approval of man. This is why we are told to “Trust in the Lord will all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.” Proverbs 3: 5&6. Too often God is an after thought or optional choice when dealing with life. This compromise often has favorable results with man; yet results in moving you away from God. Learn to wait on God and patiently seek His way.
God’s way will give you peace and contentment that surpasses the understanding of man! God wants to be the Primary Force in your life. Being a Christian is really a chosen lifestyle. God does not force His way upon you. Faith produces commitment and faithfulness. It means to sincerely and earnestly attempt to live life to please God. Commence to truly Live, Sing, Worship and Praise Him. It really makes all the difference in the world! “LET the WORD of Christ dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3: 16&17.
God always has a better way. According to Ephesians He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. As His child we have been sealed and promised the gift of His Holy Spirit. God truly is faithful you can always count on Him! Now you must trust Him and step out on Faith. Remember Faith is not something that you can see. Always remember, you must exercise patience and your Faith and trust must rely in Him. He tells us if our Faith is “as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17: 20. The key to this is you must desire His will to be done. It is with God we can do the impossible. This way He receives the credit. To GOD be the GLORY! God keeps His promises. You can fully trust God to work everything out for your good.
Always keep in mind that absolutely nothing gets by God. He knows all that is past, current and will be. Be encouraged knowing “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” It is by Faith and patience we inherit His promises. We can patiently endure whatever is necessary because we know that God in His time will work everything out for our good. It is by Faith we accept His precious gift of eternal life. One of the most important elements in life is having Faith in GOD. “Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he, who comes to GOD, must believe, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Romans 1:16& 17.
GOD IS FAITHFUL in His time you will reap the promises and He will give back, restore, refuel and replenish you in His time. God knows when you are sincere. We are living in interesting times. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Author and finisher of your Faith. God is able to “keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great Joy!” You can say Hallelujah anyhow! God is awesome! As I mentioned before Hebrews records in its “Hall of Faith” many Old Testament heroes who trusted in God and displayed their Faith in unique ways. Lay aside every weight and anything that hinders you from going forth in the Lord! When you truly believe; it will be a priority to live your life to please GOD! Faith results in faithfulness! Who or what are you faithful to? “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” FAITH IS NOW!
What Do You BELIEVE?
THE APOSTLES CREED
I would like to share with you the APOSTLES CREED. It is such a wonderful and meaningful creed, which dates back as early as the 6th century. A half century after the last writings of the New Testament. It has been recorded in history that on the day of Pentecost directed by the HOLY SPIRIT the Apostles together composed this wonderful creed! It is the oldest of All creeds! It is said that each of the Apostles contributed to its composition. I personally think that it is a brilliantly written spirit filled “work of art.” It contains (12) twelve articles which affirms the Lord Jesus Christ and the TRUTH of GOD’s WORD!
Keep in mind that we have free access to the complete Holy Scriptures in the form of “The Bible” this was not the case in the earlier centuries. The Bible consists of the Old and the New Testaments. The Old Testament was written primarily originally in Hebrew and some in Aramaic. It was then translated to Greek! There are over 5,600 Greek Manuscripts to validate the New Testament!
Did you know that the Bible contains 1,189 chapters and 31.102 verses. It was written by over forty authors. The original manuscripts were not divided into chapters and verses. It was Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro who began this process in 1244 to about 1248. He at the same time was creating a concordance of the Latin Vulgate to help people have the ability to look up the scriptures. The modern version was revised by Stephen Langton an Archbishop of Canterbury in England. This was also used by the Wycliffe English version that was eventually circulated in 1382. The current system we use was first published in the Geneva Bible in 1560 prior to the King James Version which was published in 1611.
For many it has become a ritual that is simply repeated during worship . But if you listen attentively you will hear and see that it is so much more. It vividly gives one a great descriptive synopsis of Jesus’ origin and purpose in our lives.
The Apostle’s Creed is an affirmation of one’s FAITH! Before repeating one first is usually asked “What do you believe?” upon stating:
“I Believe in God the Father Almighty! The Maker of Heaven and Earth. And in Jesus Christ the only Son of our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified died and was buried. The third day He arose from the dead! And He ascended into Heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I Believe in the Holy Spirit! His Holy *Catholic Church! The Communion of saints and the Forgiveness of sins. The Resurrection of the body and LIFE everlasting. Amen!”
*Catholic meaning God’s universal worldwide Church!
I TRULY BELIEVE!!!
The Book of Revelation is quite an interesting, intriguing narrative account of the grand finale! Bursting at the seams with a great wealth of relative, similar, prophetic symbolism that is also found in the Books of Daniel and Zechariah. It is in Revelation that John shares his many quite extraordinary, remarkable visions. John endured a lot of persecution because of his faith and belief in Jesus Christ. It is here on the rocky island of Patmos John was exiled because he would not worship the image of Emperor Domitian. Scores of readers shy away from reading Revelation and find some of its contents a bit disturbing. Others simply find it weird and even a bit irrational. However, when one looks closer through a spiritual lens you will discover that John truly and unselfishly intended to enlighten, inspire hope and encouragement in the midst of his own personal predicament. Revelation contains valid prophecy.
Revelation has been described as one of the most complicated, intimidating Books in the Bible. One might pose the question; “Well if it is so complicated then why bother at all to read Revelation?” First and foremost because it is the inspired Word of God. John gives us a profound reason to persevere through its contents. One must certainly solicit the aid and assistance of the Holy Spirit to open your spiritual ears for any lucid clarity. John himself really answers that question earlier on. He tells us that “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take it to heart what is written in it, because the time is near…”
John also reinforces the fact that Jesus Christ is, lived here on earth, is the King of Kings, and the Almighty Ruler, of the kings of the earth and is most definitely coming back again! Here in Revelation we are reminded that Jesus created all things and all things are subject to Him. This further helps one to understand why Jesus humbled Himself, and actually became the “Word in flesh.” It was out of obedience to the will of the Father that He died upon the cross, and then arose with all power. Here we learn the immense significance of His amazing position as the “Lamb of God.” He once and for all gave His life. For those who believe this is the Gospel the “Good News!” Just by knowing who we are in Him helps us to live victoriously as John did despite his situation and what was happening in the world! Essentially our purpose for life and living is to discover Him as our Creator and seek Him above everything else. We who are believers have been purchased with His Blood. The Church belongs to Him, His Church is His Bride!
Revelation contains an affluent wealth of prophetic visions that stretches one’s imagination to think far beyond the surface. To ponder and launch out into the deep where one’s faith or lack thereof becomes apparent. John goes on to describe the events on a scroll to be sent to the seven (7) Churches. To each of them he has some very specific and interesting comments. Take some time and see where your congregation of choice is? “He who has an ear, let Him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” It is important today in this 21st century to be mindful that the scriptures are being fulfilled. GOD’s WORD is AWESOME! God wants us to have an intimate personal relationship with Him. It is important to know the Lord’s Word for yourself. This way you “will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming…” as expressed in Ephesians.
It is here in Revelation that we are reminded of the ongoing spiritual warfare that was and has continued to go on within and against His Church. Keep in mind when Revelation was written the many large, small, storefront and or mega buildings where the Church comes together for worship did not exist. The war between good and evil continues. This is again why it is so very important to have an intimate personal relationship with the Lord and His Word. Revelation does not easily open its contents for one to readily embrace and understand. One must seek and call upon the Holy Spirit to keep you attentive. To continue through the many passages that requires a deep concentration and steadfastness through the many tumultuous interludes. This is also why it is so very important to worship the Lord “in Spirit and in TRUTH He indeed, is truly worthy of our praise!
All in all Revelation major overtones reassures us that our HOPE and TRUST must be in the Lord. John clearly reminds us that GOD alone gave His only Begotten Son to redeem us from the clutches of sin and death and insure our access to eternal life! It is through Adam that sin and death entered our existence. During one’s mesmerizing safaric journey through Revelation there are many turns and unexpected surprises. Vivid, veracious scenes depicting the seven (7) seals, seven (7) trumpets, scrolls, exotic creatures, dragons and angels, seven (7) plagues and seven (7) bowls of God’s wrath, and a wondrous plethora of rare precious gemstones and so much more… Here in Revelation there is also a wonderful vision magnificently illustrating the joy and honor for being invited to the great wedding supper. SEVEN is the number of COMPLETION! The King of Kings emerges and gives us a glimpse of what Heaven is like. It is through Jesus Christ’s love for us, His birth, sinless life, crucifixion, death and resurrection that we have been redeemed and given the gift of eternal life. Within the power of His resurrection is our Hope!
Yes our country is in an economic crisis, property values have plummeted and continues to decline. Companies and corporations large and small are closing their doors. His principles for marriage and the family are being abandoned by the masses, immorality on the rise, unexplained weather phenomenon, wars and rumors of war continue, the entire universe is being impacted. Yes one must be aware and concerned, but don’t be alarmed or afraid by all the events we hear and will continue to hear. Is it important to read Revelation? Yes of course, All of God’s Word is true. John tells us that “Behold, I AM coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of this prophecy in this book.”
It is also in Revelation that an angel of the Lord reminds us that “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord the God of the spirits and prophets, sent an angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” God knows us from the inside out through and through. He knows the why, who what, and why not. You may not want to think about it but time is of the essence. Our entire lives are an open book to the Lord. It is important that we keep in mind that our life continues on throughout eternity. It is important to know for sure where you will spend eternity! This is not based upon what someone says, thinks or does not say about you. It is based on His Word and knowing without a doubt that it is to Him you belong. “It is in Him we move and live and have our being.” Hear what His Spirit has to say “BLESSED are those who wash their robes, that they may go through the gates of the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehoods…”Although Revelation may be difficult to comprehend at times, I want to encourage you to read on. Remember the Word of God is like no other. It is “quick (alive) and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword…” Since it is so full of life, each time you take time to read it and glean its wisdom your spiritual ears and eyes are opened just that much more! And yes most definitely, Revelation is a valid prophecy
God is our Father & Creator! Have you really given some serious thought to what eternity will be like? Imagine The Word tells us that there will be no more, death, pain or sorrow! "God will wipe every tear from their eyes! " It is important to realize when you truly are living for the Lord whatever you are going through its not over for you. In the end "WE WIN" God has the last WORD! "These are the words of HIM who is HOLY and TRUE, who holds the KEY of DAVID, What HE opens NO ONE can shut, and what HE shuts NO ONE can open!"
The Bible starts with a marvelous story of Creation. Genesis records the Beginning. It concludes with the creation of a new heaven and earth in Revelation. Those who overcome through Jesus Christ will "stand firm in the end." (evil will not be able to mimic itself as good and continue to deceive many…) We don’t know the day or the hour but JESUS is coming soon!!! The Promises of God will be fulfilled! HIS WORD will not return void! In this world where disobedience, mistreatment, persecution, immorality, evil, lying, and deception continue to rise… JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR tells us to endure by FAITH! TRUST HIM! In spite of how things appear, He really does ultimately have it ALL under His control! His message of Love, Repentance and Salvation is extended to all! He is the "Bright and Morning STAR!" HE IS the ALPHA and THE OMEGA THE BEGINNING AND THE END!!! We can ALWAYS have HOPE in the LORD!!! TO GOD Be THE GLORY!
Listen/download the song "Jesus Is Coming Soon By Jus-B-Cuz".
GOD Dwells In The Hearts of HIS People!
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We in America have a freedom that you just don’t find in the rest of the world. We have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to live and go where and when we please. But most importantly we have the freedom to worship. There are many types of worship services but there is only one true God. The only way to worship Him is in spirit and truth. On a recent trip to Athens Greece and Istanbul Turkey I was able to see some of the world’s most exquisite architecture. Turkey is a country that is 95% Moslem. In Turkey there is the renowned Hagia Sophia Cathedral. It was built for the Christian community to reflect the beauty that Solomon’s Temple once beheld. In spite of its elaborate intricate handiwork full of gold mosaic tiles, marble and brick walls, it is now a museum. It also contains various artifacts derived from Greek mythology and its continence is a shadow of it’s once intended purpose. Ironically across from it is the beautiful Sultanahmet mosque. Its known as the Blue mosque due to an extravagant array of blue mosaic tiles. Adorned with its intricate splendor and statueous marble columns and stained glass windows. It is scrupulously maintained and it is a place of worship for the Moslem community. Turkey is full of ornately designed mosques and Mohammed is whom they worship.
Words cannot express my gratitude to God for the things my eyes have beheld. The scriptures continuously came to my mind as I walked through the Hagia Sophia. “God does not dwell in a temple made by hands”. “That God is coming back for a churh without spot or wrinkle.” There is absolutely no doubt in my mind to the unmerited grace the Lord has bestowed upon us.
The one thing the tour guide who was of Moslem decent (in Turkey along with our guide we were required to have a Turkish guide as well) said that stuck with me was “why would a powerful God allow His Temple to turn into a museum?” My point is God is so gracious and kind that He allows us so much freedom. He even gives us the freedom to choose who or what we want to worship. When I lift up Holy Hands, to Him and Him only my heart is eternally grateful. It is by His grace and His grace alone are we saved. God is truly worthy of all the PRAISE!
In Turkey is the city of Ephesus. There are miles and miles of ruins. Original artifacts, columns etc. and remains to testify to the fact Ephesus existed. To this day approximately only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is still currently under excavation. Primitive hand tools are used in order to preserve whatever archeological finds are uncovered. Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. Just look at God! Despite the fact Turkey is a Moslem country Ephesus remains a monument to Christians of God’s eternal presence, grace and mercy. My most invigorating moments were spent in Athens Greece. We walked up the steep incline to the Acropolis saturated with aged columns made of marble. The Parthenon and majestic ruins were filled with slippery marble laden paths. The highlight was when I observed my husband humbly climb “Mars Hill!” The infamous hill that the Apostle Paul speaks about in the book of Acts. When we approached Mars Hill there was a woman preaching! Acts tells us “And it will come to pass in the last days saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Paul spoke concerning an altar with an inscription representing the unknown god on Mars Hill. That unknown God is the God I love, worship and adore. The only true and living God. Mars hill today is in a magnificent open place. High above Athens for all to see. (I will forever cherish what it felt like sitting there and praising God for all He has done!!!) I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL! It’s walls and canopy are the blue firmament that God Himself spoke into existence through the Word. That Word is Jesus Christ wrapped in flesh. Who sacrificed His life for the sins of the entire world!!!
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God. Glory! Glory! His TRUTH is marching on!!!
“The earth truly is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” There is not a place that can be built that can contain the fullness of His majestic awesomeness. The early church had no building they met in homes. We have dedicated our home to be a place where God’s way prevails. The heart of each of His Children is where His true Church abides. There is nothing wrong with a church made by hands. But the focal point should not be a hierarchy laden with cliques, clichés, how do we pay our bills programs and solemn auxiliaries; a mere shadow of what God originally intended.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” We should praise Him in song, WORD and deeds. We are not saved by works. But our works display our faith. Our main focus should be to cultivate and environment where God receives the preeminence. It is God’s Word and His power that will draw men, women, boys and girls and change their lives when we spread His Gospel. Whether it be via T.V., radio, internet, song or the spoken word. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
There is so much turbulence and conflict about us in the world today and within our country as well. Few will readily admit it, but it is a great deal of conflict going on also within the Church. This is, resulting in further conflict surrounding many families, marriages, friendships, on the job and in the schools. Quite often many of the unhealthy dynamics simply go unaddressed. Guilt, blame and shame take the forefront. Therefore anxiety levels, anger, resentment, depression, addictions, numerous stress related illnesses and health concerns are on the rise. Due to the increasing awareness of the unfortunate declining economic status within our nation, there has been an overwhelming trickle down global effect on the world at large. There have been strings of layoffs, numerous companies closing, rapidly falling stock prices, decreasing values of 401K’s and other retirement accounts, we are in a “recession”. It has been said that the United States has been consuming more than it produces for years. It has been quoted that just in the last eight years we lost $40 Trillion of our economy. The Washington Times quotes; “Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and an economic adviser to President Obama, told a congressional committee Wednesday that massive trade-related imbalances in the U.S. economy were the source of the financial crisis that has produced an ugly recession.”
There is a growing concern as to the overall quality of life worldwide. Ongoing wars, terrorists threats and due to global warming, the threat of more hurricanes, famines, floods, earthquakes and more natural disasters are all becoming of a greater concern as well. Broken families, divorces, suicides and escalating crime, all these and more factor into the overall quality of life as we know it. But should we really be surprised? In spite of it all there is still hope! If you are a believer then you must know that the Truth of God’s Word is being affirmed. Jesus has said, “You will hear, of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed, such things must happen, but the end is still to come, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” It is so very important to know God’s Word!
God’s Word is so wonderfully amazing! Our attitude and perception have a lot to do with how we cope in any given situation. Conflict is inevitable. The Lord really is, can, and will be a refuge in times like these. Although a growing concern is warranted. God is able! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” God’s people should always look to Him, especially when it seems as though the world is coming apart. On many occasions even within His Church the ways of the world have been embraced. But this is nothing new. Things may even get worst before it gets better. There is much spiritual warfare about us. But don’t blame God. Our security and significance must be in Him alone! His weapons are not carnal. One must seek to not compromise His Word. During adversity with balanced faith, families grow stronger, healthy relationships are fortified when the armor of the Lord is embraced. His Word prevails! Just know God will never lead you to do anything contrary to His Word. Man from the very beginning has quite often chosen to disregard what God has said. What we are experiencing is a direct result of those consequences. But remember, “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and them that dwell therein…”
Begin to consider looking to God and His principles for the solution to whatever you may be going through. In Him there is always hope! When conflict arises it is so very important to consult Him. More often than not when conflict arises He is the last resort. God has given us various illustrated methods to utilize healthy confrontation. But too often pride is at the forefront and carnal methods are employed instead. I would like to share with you a tidbit from the narrative on Joseph. It is one of the many exhilarating examples you can find in the Bible: There was a “famine” or should I say “recession” in the land? Joseph was favored by the Lord and was also his father’s Israel’s favorite . Joseph had many brothers. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”Joseph had several dreams. In one of his dreams, “the sun moon and stars bowed down to him.” His brothers were jealous of Joseph so they plotted together and sold Joseph into slavery, they called him a “dreamer.” They then slaughtered a goat, put the blood on Joseph’s robe, went home, lied and told their father that Joseph had been killed…
While a slave Joseph’s master Potiphar favored him and put him in charge of all he had. His master’s wife tried to seduce him, she in turn lied on him and he was put into prison. While in prison the Lord’s favor was with Joseph. The warden was impressed by Joseph, even here he put him in charge of everything! Joseph was able to interpret dreams. While in prison, many things happened to Joseph… One day, Pharaoh the King of Egypt was troubled and had a dream. Joseph was called; he was able to interpret his dream. The Pharaoh realized that Joseph was wise and discerning. “So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt…”
A great famine came upon the land. Joseph had planned wisely and because of it there was ample food in Egypt. Joseph’s brothers lived in Canaan were there was no food. They were sent to Egypt by their father to buy grain. Guess what? When they arrived in Egypt they had to bow down to Joseph, he was now the governor. God knew way in advance what was going to take place. In spite of all Joseph’s mistreatment and adversity the Lord was still with Joseph… He finally revealed himself to his brothers. “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry for selling me here, because it was to save the lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been a famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But GOD sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance…” (For the details of this amazing narrative, read Genesis 39-47) Look at God!
This is why it is important to “Be Still and know that He is God.” Knowing God and His Word helps us to discern and recognize when something is not of Him. This is why we must daily ask for the infilling presence of His Holy Spirit. God does not have to manipulate, operate undercover, nor utilize false witnesses. God is aware of everything. He is Omniscient! It is very important to know the Lord’s Word for yourself and develop an ongoing, growing, trusting, personal intimate relationship with Him. It is important to learn to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
We must learn to invite God into all areas of our lives. God has a way in which to resolve conflict and confront issues that is quite different from that of the world. Remember He is a SPIRIT of TRUTH! His Word is full of seemingly impossible situations that resulted in a favorable outcome. Many who claim to be Christians continue to embrace very carnal ways to remediate behavior and seek resolutions. Many subscribe to a dual lifestyle one way at home and another way is present before the Church Community. It is important to keep in mind that God is aware of everything. He knows us from the inside out. Many really do not know nor believe that His Holy Spirit really does have Transformation power! He can and is more than able to bring about a true Metamorphosis in your life. Praise God!
Jesus Christ came so that we might live differently. Throughout His Word you will find all sorts of situations that are profoundly unfathomable. Yet He saw and will see His people through. There is a wealth of wisdom found in the Word of God that is priceless. The Pharisees was the established religious order that sought to discredit Jesus. They were intimidated by Him because He did not adhere to their legalistic practices. Spiritually they were blind. They too wanted to continue to resolve things their own way. Jesus was a living example as to what one can expect when you truly dedicate your life to Him! God knew way back then what would be going on now. “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies: nothing you can desire can compare with her…”
Some things just will not be understood on this side of heaven. From the very beginning God had a plan for our lives. God is so gracious, loving, kind and patient. Few know what it truly means to love. God is love. Can you really love without knowing Him? He sent His only begotten Son so we could be redeemed from the power of sin. We have been given an Eternal Comforter an Internal Teacher! Even in the midst of all the turmoil that is about us His plan is still the same. If you are burdened down by the pressures and stressors of life, I have some “Good News” for you. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). God may not remove every burden, every difficult person or situation in your life, but you can find comfort in His Word. It is important to know His Promises! I assure you, He will and does keep all His Promises! Even in these difficult days, His Word will be “A lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path. I have sworn and I will keep your righteous judgments…” To GOD be the GLORY!
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes tells that there is a time for everything under the sun. This wonderful book is another illustration depicting God knowing all things. Solomon was the wisest and richest man that ever lived. Ecclesiastes was written to spare future generations the necessity of learning through their own experiences. In this book he shares the futility of living a life apart from God’s principles. He also tells us that “God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed”. One thing that is clear, is that there is nothing that takes place that God is not aware of. We were created for his glory! The purpose of our life is to glorify God in all that we do.
We have a moral, ethical and spiritual obligation to grow in the knowledge of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Once we accept Christ we progress toward spiritual wholeness. To become a new creation one must put away old sinful habits. The Apostle Paul talks about becoming a new creature through Christ Jesus. Paul in the New Testament knew as well that there would be those who would try to undermine his good intentions. He knew that there would be those who would continue in sin. That there would be those who would justify supporting those who choose to continue to practice sin. God’s Word clearly tells us that there will come a time when they will even attempt to put you out of their church. They will even try to control you with rules they made themselves. Yet they do not adhere to them! That time is now! You see Paul expressed freedom rather than rules! Paul tells us that those who rely on the law are cursed. (See Galatians) He stressed freedom and living in the liberty that Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection made possible! God instructs us to be careful of those who divide His Church as well! God is not divided nor is He the author of confusion. Before faith came we were prisoners to the law. The righteous are to live by FAITH! He has left us His Comforter to lead and guide us to all TRUTH! Hebrews tells us that the Lord would write His laws in our hearts!
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” Please bear with me as we look at a few scenarios. Tell me, is it okay to stand before God’s people drunk or under the influence of some narcotic substance and deliver scripture? ( This excludes temporary medications ) If so is this a good example for children or anyone else? Is this of the Holy Spirit? Is it okay to engage in immoral activities? Does it matter if you do or say whatever you desire and then want to stand in front of God’s people and tell them how and when to worship Him? Or is it that the above are okay for some and not for others? Or is it only for those who let you do whatever you want, when and how you want? Better yet does it even matter at all if we consecrate ourselves for Worship Services? Oh well, I guess we just confess we believe in Jesus? At some point in time you can seriously decide to change? Just think for a moment. What if Jesus came back during Worship? When you are on a date? Or at home? Perhaps while at work? Or had you even given His return much thought? Well, how about on Saturday morning or Wednesday evening? That time is nearer than you might think. What if death knocks on your door are you ready? Are you preparing to live with Him in eternity? God is calling His children home daily! The point is, do you know what time it is? It is time out for foolishness! Let’s see what the book of Galatians tells us about the works of the flesh. They are “Sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealously, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy drunkenness, or orgies, and the like, I warn you, as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God!” You see we really need to know what time it is. Look how marvelous God is! He knew in Solomon and Paul’s time as well that the world would be the way it is today! Jesus died that we might overcome sin in the flesh. Do not be deceived. This is why when sin knocks at your door you do not have to answer! You can sincerely call on the Savior!
Do you really know the purpose of life? Do you know what time it is? The wide road that leads to destruction is well traveled by many. The narrow road that leads to God has fewer travelers. We must be careful when we decide to stand up for our rights. Have they been measured by God’s standards? God wants us to stand up for His principles. In today’s time Ecclesiastes would be considered negative. But from God’s perspective it has a plethora of wisdom! You see! God wants your life fulltime! He is not only interested in what you do on Sunday! Or just what other people see! He is interested in every facet of your life! When your life focuses on God it will have meaning! He wants to not only free you but your children and your children’s children! Get off that wide road! Break generational cycles of dysfunction! You do not have to settle for a psuedo emotional temporary experience. He can deliver you from all evil! He can and will keep you in any and every situation. He will even turn what others mean for evil into GOOD! Do you really know what time it is?
We were created in the image of God. We must learn to take heed to what God says throughout His Word. We must be doers of His Word! He even tells us in Ecclesiastes ” Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are in earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.” If you carefully read and prayerfully listen to God’s Word you can commence fervently cultivating an environment where God’s Spiritual Fruit can grow and flourish. Paul tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control! Against such there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying one another.” It is important that we really know,and implement God’s Word in our lives daily!
The teacher in Ecclesiastes was not only wise but he imparted and shared his Wisdom. Today sin abounds! Everything and anything goes! God continually Speaks To His children in many ways. God always has a better way! We are Soldiers; but our weapons are not carnal! He will fight all your battles! This is why He says when you have done all you can do just “Stand!” He did not say that everything in this life would be good. But He did say if you love Him and are called according to His purpose; He would work it out for your good! He Tells to ” overcome evil with good!” Works do not save you, but they do display your Faith! His Word tells us to pray for those who despitefully use you . I urge you to take some time andreally evaluate where you are? Do you know what time it is? Do not walk in the counsel Of ungodly People. Do not allow anyone to enable you by making you comfortable in sin. You do not have to live a yoyo existence! It is a beautiful thing to see one’s life turned in the right direction by the Lord! God is truly able! God’s plan for mankind has not changed. The author of Ecclesiastes ends this wonderful book of wisdom by simply stating ” Now all has been heard, here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep His Commandments for this is the whole duty of man For GOD will bring every deed into judgment including every hidden thing , whether it is good or evil.”
Do YOU know what time it is?